Live Review: Orlando Furious, Naked, Faye Soft, Sweet Whirl

22 February 2016 | 3:28 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"Dressed in a white cloak, visually there is a Lawrence Of Arabia vibe but, with his Vogue-era Madonna dance moves, it all equals an experience."

It's a nice, relaxing sunny Sunday evening at the Grace as half of Melbourne duo Superstar, Esther E, takes the stage under her Sweet Whirl alias to open the night. The results are quite melancholy but relaxing at the same time. Soundscapes created are reminiscent to that of Superstar in that they're relaxing and consuming, opening up as they progress and, all in all, it's a subtle yet likeable way to begin.

Faye Soft up the volume and the weirdness to produce an audio assault of sorts. Each track seemingly adds a new element of experimentation; vocally, the delivery is almost inaudible, but with yelling it feels protopunk a la Claire's Un Natural Twin. The guitar and bass throughout are constantly exploring sounds courtesy of some interesting effects, all of which is driven by the high-tempo, hard-hitting, explorative drums courtesy of Evelyn Ida Morris (aka Pikelet). It is hard not to constantly follow each move. An interesting early highlight.

Launching their latest opus, Pink Quartz, is Hobart's finest oddball-punk export, Naked. They've been slogging around the country for the past two weeks and the band do look slightly weary, but this hardly stops them from delivering. The approach and set chosen feels restrained, in a positive way, when compared to some of their earlier performances. They showcase simplicity at times and it feels as if they have stepped back, as a result of this release, to allow their songwriting chops to show and it works so well. The band are their usual charming selves, crackin' wise at any given opportunity, and their self described "nu-metal, lo-fi" sound is an accurate descriptor. They end with a re-imagined version of Think About Death and the results border on chaos with noise coming at us from every which direction and the band packing up their gear before the song has technically finished. A golden set.

Rounding out the night, Orlando Furious brings his oddball take on electro to an eager-to-dance crowd. Dressed in a white cloak, visually there is a Lawrence Of Arabia vibe but, with his Vogue-era Madonna dance moves, it all equals an experience. Musically, things are all over the shop, from high-tempo, African-tinged thrashing to slower, acoustic numbers then deep club bangers, all of which feature the man's trademark avant-garde singing, rapping and borderline spoken word. In response to a request for an encore, he ends with the gabber-like Murdoch. We then request even more but, alas! To no avail.

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